Stormfront
Electronic Arts
Action/Adventure
1
12.30.02

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers


What do your elf eyes see Legolas? A hell of a lot better game then the Fellowship of the Ring that's for sure. Two Towers for Xbox takes a completely different tone in how the game is played and viewed. It starts from the first movie, The Fellowship of the Ring, and continues sharply through, until half way into the actual game, and then the Two Towers story begins.

Character selection is good, as we get to play not only as Aragon, Legolas and Gimli, but Isildur as well. This attempt to emulate one of the greatest movies of all time is done nicely by EA in that they incorporate scenes from the actual movies (Fellowship and Two Towers) and then turn them into actual game play mayhem as the movie cut scenes come to an end. We get to explore all of Middle Earths finest locations. These places include the greatness of Helms Deep to the place where trees talk, Fangahorn Forest (Yes, yes they talk).

Gameplay

There are various ways the levels start; mostly they blend in from a cut scene from the actual movies themselves. In this case, total slashing and hacking mayhem. Yes, the game is a very good reincarnation of the very popular Golden Axe for the Sega Genesis. For a beat em up, this game does take quite a bit of class to master with all the combos and weapons. Each Ork/Troll has their own fighting style so you have to adjust to each bad guy as they come. You can't just button bash and hope to kill everything in sight.

The Defense feature is excellent as it allows you to block copious amounts of arrows and swords all at once. This feature lets you enjoy the game more because if you're stuck with a lot of Orks, defense will help you out without getting you frustrated 90% of the time. There are many good little moves and combos to master and purchase through out the game, but a frustrating point is having to get the right character for the right bad guy, for example Gimli vs. a Troll is not good at all.

Those looking for an adventure game should not play this game, because you will simply not get it, but those who want a fun challenge, and just want to pick up a controller and chop some Ork, can do exactly that. The rest of your buttons are your basic Fierce attack, Quick Attack and Kick.

The Overall good thing about the game play is it will take you awhile to master all the combos and weapons. The question is will you be sick of the game by then because it's too repetitive? That all depends on what gamer you are in the end.

Graphics

Since it was directly ported from the PS2 version, Two Towers for Xbox has nice background textures and water features that other systems did not incorporate into their versions. The faces look rather poor, but the character models move quite nicely as all characters in EA games do. This game certainly doesn't make Legolas or any other of the Middle Earth folk look like Sam Fisher, but overall the graphics could have used a little bit of a makeover to bring out the full graphical capability of the Xbox. The on camera water texture gives this game a nice feel of atmosphere when you're at Helms Deep taking on swarms of Ork and other hideous creatures. All in all, the graphics aren't too bad, but should have been a lot better for the license that EA got especially for such a game like Two Towers.

Sound

A little better though, is the sound of LotrTT. EA got the actual actors to redo voices for the game giving the game a great extra feel when you're slashing ork. Hearing Elijah Wood's voice screaming "GANDALF" and "HELP", makes you want to form an alliance with the Ork and kick his little hobbit butt. The sound is very clean and sharp. From the voices, to the stabbings, to the swords clinging, Two Towers has done well in this department for the game that it is. The music is straight out of the movie, which you cannot complain about.

Bottom Line:

This game is pretty short, but mastering everything and clocking every level with all the characters will give you at least 20 - 25 hours. This game is strictly for people who want to pick up a controller and have a great time slashing up some Ork. For many beat 'em up buffs, it's hard to put down the controller once you get into this game. This game could be summed up as a fun game for non-hardcore gamers, rather then gamers who look for depth and lasting ability when purchasing a game. Overall, the Two Towers experience is a solid one, and we should look forward to Return of the King that should have multiplayer.

-Chris Bakopoulos




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